The SLA released new online application on November 8, 2011 that affects chain restaurants. In order to qualify for ‘chain restaurant’ status, the applicant must already have a minimum of three licensed restaurants, and the licensee name must be exactly the same for all of the chain locations.
The filing fee is the same as the retail on-premises fee for your area and license type (liquor, beer-wine, etc.)
Many of the requirements for supplemental documentation are the same as in other retail on-premises application. However, there are a few notable changes:
1. The application must be typed using the online form. Handwritten applications are not accepted.
2. For applicants who will use the chain restaurant application to file for an additional chain, the application lets the applicant disclose whether the footprint/layout and Method of Operation are the same as the existing establishment. If so, these documents do not need to be re-filed. If they are different, than new diagrams and a new Method of Operation must be submitted with the new chain restaurant application.
3. The application is much shorter (only 7 pages), accounting for the need to enter a Method of Operation only in the case of a change, as well as the absence of the Establishment Questionnaire.
As with any procedure involving the SLA, it is best to consult an experienced attorney to assist in the filing of the application. The attorney should know the best procedures for putting together the application packet in a way that is easily processed by the Examiner. Thorough application packets reduce processing time, meaning that you get your license and can start operating (making money) all the sooner.